How The Revolution Started
Spit spot, with a pip spat, an insouciant gobbing
by a late trader as he dashed over the new willow
pattern bridges, over the old canals, free now of
barge boys and smiling throats drifted heavy as
opium smoke on the small-hours tides from
Limehouse stews with their pockets lightened.
These are civilised times. He bit a little too far in
his haste, through the papery rattle, to the pip-
bitty heart of the pome, and out he spat, a dark
droplet with a tree inside. Good mule.
A tree well-trafficked into the back pocket of the
sun, into the only earthen crack in the monied
Wharf, to grow and cling and split the ways of it.
What a disobedient sapling! Infractions of the
concrete rules, wayward xylem, insubordinate
fruition, radical orchard!
It was a Jester, an Alderman, a Bloody Ploughman,
a Beefing, a Fortune, a Wonder, a Delicious, a
Greening, a Nonsuch, a Pixie, a Pippin, an
Egremont Russet, a Kentish Fillbasket, a Catshead,
a Dog’s Snout, a Codling, a Pearmain, a Beautiful
Arcade. It was a Gala and it was a Jubilee.
Every hand that passed took a hold and into each
hand fell a globe, and from every hand to every
next hand met, the fruit passed like a bucket of
water from the millpond to the burning barn,
from Canada Water to Yarl’s Wood, from the
square mile to the whole starved land.
It was a Bright Future.
Kirsten Luckins is a poet based in Teesside.
Image courtesy of the artist and The Newbridge Project, 2015
The Source of Resilience, The Newbridge Project, Newcastle Upon Tyne
21 February – 28 March 2015